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Thursday, June 9 2016
Acts 9: Paul's Conversion In Syria and The Rising Of Tabitha
"Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?"
Syria is located immediately northeast of Galilee. Along with its capital city of Damascus, Syria has had a very long connection to the true people of the LORD, including:
Syria was also the country where the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) converted the Christian-hating Pharisee Saul into the apostle Paul. Despite the persecutions and killings of them by Saul, upon his conversion, the LORD's people in Syria forgave and accepted him as a Christian. Paul was baptized by Ananias, a Christian in Syria.
"9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
The Christians of Syria even protected Saul / Paul from those who would have harmed him after his conversion - people exactly like the way Paul himself had been before he was cured of his spiritual blindness (see Paul's Blindness Lesson). Upon his return to Jerusalem, which was the most dangerous place for a Christian of all (see Why Was The South A Dangerous Place?), Paul began his friendship and association with Barnabas (see the Fact Finder question below).
"9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. 9:21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? 9:22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
In the mean time, the apostle Peter was doing what the LORD had assigned him to do - including, by means of faith and the Holy Spirit, raising the dead back to their physical lives. Among the most famous of those was Tabitha, a Christian woman at Joppa.
"9:32 And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda. 9:33 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy. 9:34 And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately. 9:35 And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.
This Day In History, June 9
411 BC: A coup formed a short-lived oligarchy (a political system governed by a few people) in Athens (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids).
53: Roman Emperor Nero (see Nero's Torches) married his stepsister Claudia Octavia, the 13 year old niece of Emperor Tiberius (Tiberius was the emperor at the time of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ) and the daughter of Emperor Claudius (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).
62: Roman Emperor Nero had his wife Claudia Octavia executed. She was 22.
68: Roman Emperor Nero committed suicide (see also Did Nero Really Fiddle While Rome Burned?).
721: Odo, the duke of Aquitaine, defeated the Moors (the name given to the medieval Muslim occupants of Spain and southern Europe) at the Battle of Toulouse.
1534: French explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew became the first known Europeans to sail into the St. Lawrence River.
1549: The Church of England adopted The Book of Common Prayer, compiled by Thomas Cranmer (see also Is 'Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust' Really In The Bible?).
1597: Jose de Anchieta died at age 63. The Portuguese Jesuit is considered to be the founder of national literature of Brazil, and is "credited" with helping over 1 million "Indians" (the incorrect term applied to the natives of the continents of North and South America by European explorers who thought that they were in India) to become "Christian" i.e. Roman Catholic.
1732: British General and Member of Parliament James Oglethorpe received a royal charter to form the colony of Georgia (named after King George II) on the southeast coast of North America.
1762: British forces began the siege and capture of Havana, Cuba during the Seven Years' War.
1800: During Napoleon's Italian campaign, the first Battle of Montebello was fought.
1815: The Congress of Vienna closed with the signing of the Final Act. Among its provisions, Belgium and Luxembourg united with Holland to form the Netherlands, Switzerland was neutral, East Poland ceded to Russia and its western provinces to Prussia.
1898: An agreement was signed under which Hong Kong was leased to Britain from China for a period of 99 years.
1908: King Edward VII of Britain met Czar Nicholas II of Russia on board the royal yacht anchored in the Baltic. It was the first meeting between a czar and a British monarch.
1931: Robert Goddard patented the rocket-fueled aircraft design.
1940: That day was appointed by the British as a national day of Thanksgiving to God for "the miracle of Dunkirk" a week before (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy). Overcast had kept the Hitler's Luftwaffe grounded, while the normally rough and treacherous English Channel was unusually calm. People who had lived all their lives on its shore said that they had never seen the Channel so tranquil, which enabled all sorts of small civilian craft to take part in the successful evacuation of 338,000 British and allied troops - many of whom survived to return a few years later on the D Day landings at Normandy.
1959: The first submarine to carry nuclear "weapons of mass destruction," the USS George Washington, was launched.
1964: William Maxwell Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook, died at age 85. The Canadian financial baron and statesman was one of only two people (the other was Winston Churchill) to sit in the British cabinet during both World Wars. He was Prime Minister Churchill's minister of aircraft production (Fighters: 14,200 Hurricane, 20,300 Spitfire; Bombers: 11,400 Wellington, 7,300 Lancaster, 6,100 Halifax and 7,700 Mosquito) during the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1967: During the Six-Day War, Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria (see also Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).
1968: U.S. President Lyndon Johnson declared a national day of mourning after the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy.
1978: An original Gutenberg Bible, one of only 21 known to exist, sold for $2.4 million in London.
1991: Mount Pinatubo, a Philippine volcano that had been dormant for 600 years, erupted.